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Making amends.

Posted on Sun May 15th, 2022 @ 5:51pm by Captain Finchley Kerr & Lieutenant Niali Korial

Mission: The Chase Into Danger
Location: Kerr's/Korial's quarters.
Timeline: Current.

Finchley had been feeling a little guilty a how he'd acted towards the Doctor in the meeting. She'd only wanted to say her piece, and he, being tired from a long journey and irritable as well had over reacted. He thought he should make up for this so decided to message Niali.

Tapping his COMM badge he said "Commander Kerr to Lieutenant Korial."

Niali did a double take and put down the PaDD she had been working on. ‘Why would he be contacting her?’ She sighed, she didn’t need any of his ‘charm’ today. “This is Lieutenant Korial” she replied.

“Lieutenant, I feel bad about what happened at the meeting between us, so I thought I’d make amends by inviting you to dinner in my quarters. It’s the best restaurant on my deck, and dress is smart casual. What do you say, let me make it up to you?”

She thought for a moment. He had been rude to her but she had given as good as she got and there was just something about him. She made up her mind. “Yes Commander I would love to. What time would you like me?”

“That’s fantastic Lieutenant” Finchley replied “Shall we say seven thirty?”

Niali actually smiled to herself. “Seven thirty would be fine Commander, I look forward to it.” She was already wondering what to wear.

“As do I Lieutenant” Finchley replied, ~Time to get cooking then get ready~ he thought to himself.

Niali finished her work and transferred the information to sickbay. She had a shower and dressed in a white silk pantsuit with a nipped in waist. She liked the outfit because it contained her generous figure but showed it off to its advantage, she brushed her hair and put it up. She kept her makeup simple and finished it off with her Scarlet lipstick. A little squirt of perfume between her breasts and neck. She was happy with what she saw and left for Finchley’s quarters.

Finchley was really very excited that Niali was coming to dinner, he’d cooked beef wellington, real fresh veg from the arboretum and a couple of bottles of 2206 merlot.

He hoped she’d like it all.

On the dot of 7.30 she stood outside his door, smoothed her clothes and pressed his chime a little frisson of excitement running down her spine.

The chime sounded and Finchley went to the doors and opened them. Seeing Niali standing there he said “Lieutenant, you look lovely, please, come on in, dinner is nearly ready.”

She tapped in and looked around. “Thank you Commander please call me Niali.” She sniffed, “something smells wonderful.” She said. “Can I help you with anything?”

“Please, call me Finchley…Niali” he replied “and thank you, I hope you’ve brought an appetite, we’re having Beef Wellington with fresh vegetables. If you’d be so kind, there’s wine on the counter over there” he carried on, pointing “could you open it and pour please”

Niali walked to the counter and took the wine. It looked good. She was not a connoisseur of wine but she knew what she liked. “This merlot looks good.” She said as she poured and savored the bouquet. She kept expecting him to come up with something inappropriate but he seemed a different person to the Officer she had met and clashed so much with in the meeting. Once she had finished pouring she carried the wine to the table. “Whatever beef Wellington is it smells delicious Finchley” she said.

“Don’t let the name fool you” Finchley laughed ”basically it’s a beef joint, covered in pate and wrapped in pastry, slow cooked. It should be ready in about fifteen minutes. Please, be seated, we can have a chat whilst we’re waiting.”

He himself sat down on the sofa, a few feet away from Niali, facing her.

“So…Niali” he began, still not used to calling her by her first name “tell me about yourself.”

She took a sip of wine savoring it. “There’s not much to tell, medical brat, didn’t want to be joined at first. The thought of a ‘worm’ inside me was not the first thing I wanted in life. However,” she took another sip. “This is really good.” She said. “However parents and aunt pushed me and as I learned I became fascinated . Became joined three years ago to Brusha Korial. Ask me anything about architecture and I can tell you, although he has a secret history in Trill intelligence. She laughed. “I enjoy cliff diving, history, archeology, actual books made of paper. No siblings, an aunt who is an admiral, never been married and, that’s about me in a nutshell.” She crossed her legs. “Now your turn.”

“Diplomats brat, but never wanted to be one” Finchley replied “ended up studying Security with field triage medicine as a second. Seconded into Intelligence a couple of times, though over long periods, missions tended to be long term. Got recalled here, though technically I’m ‘on loan’ as it were” he finished.

The dinner timer sounded, so he showed Niali to the table, taking her chair out for her to sit down, pushing it in as she did.

“Now, let’s see if I’ve managed to do this right” he said about the meal.

She thought him very polite and attentive waiting for him to bring the meal. “Any brothers or sisters, ex wives, that sort of thing?”

"Yes, three brothers, two sisters, two uncles, two aunties, all in the fleet...and no, kids and no wife or ex-wife...nobody would be that stupid as to marry me!" he laughed "What about yourself?"

“Only child and no, no ex’s in fact no boyfriends or men friends ever. My parents were very diligent in that fact. Kinda of a lonely life as a matter of fact.”

"No male all?" Finchley asked, incredulously.

She laughed and blushed a little “no, not one. I was sent to an all girls boarding school in the depths of Trill I vacationed with my parents until the Academy. Never made any male friends there, had a lot of female friends. Nearly made a male friend in medical school but….”she hesitated. “That did not work out. Then fraternization between the sexes was frowned upon in the Trill initiate and that leads me on to today. In fact all I know about sex I learned from the Korial symbiont. Now he had a varied sex life with many species, male, female and otherwise.”

Finchley was rather stunned "You'll forgive my reaction Lieuten...I mean, Niali, but, you do realise you're well...beautiful, right? I mean, I'm not hitting on you, but you have to know you're stunning!"

She blushed and laughed self effacingly. “My mother told me once that I was ‘tidy’ and I think that was her idea of a compliment. I keep myself fit but ‘stunning, beautiful’ thank you but no I do not think I am any of those things. Why would I be if I have never been kissed?”

"Beauty is more than just about being kissed" Finchley said "that's physicality you're taking about. It's about grace, elegance, fortitude, presence, soul...and yes, there's the physical side as well. You have to see past what's skin deep though, that's just a small part of it. We've been in here about what, thirty minutes, and already I've seen a side to you that's been hidden away simply because you've never had the opportunity to show it. The outfit you chose for this evening, it's beautiful, the heels accentuate your legs and compliment your outfit and your makeup is simply stunning...especially the lipstick, it's a nice shade by the way and it makes your mouth irresistible not to look at. However, you've come here, relaxed, gotten to know me a little, same I've gotten to know you a little and we're happy in each others company. Now, can you honestly tell me that's not beautiful, that's not stunning...because I think it is" he finished.

Niall was silent for a minute. “I never expected you to be like this, the person I met earlier today is not the person that is before me now. It is almost as though you push people away, why Finchley?”

Finchley's head dropped momentarily, then he raised it again. Looking deep into Niali's eye's he replied "I've never admitted this to anyone before, I'm frightened of loosing more friends Niali. I've lost so many, it's hardened me mentally to the point that I keep people at arms length now so that I don't become friends with anyone new, I don't make attachments. Those few people I do still have as long time friends, like Ghost, I know I can rely on them, I can go to them and be vulnerable, open up, but I find it so hard to make new friends because I don't know if I'll be around them for long, or they'll be around me, so I keep them at arms length."

She reached across the table and put her hand over his. “That is the saddest thing I have ever heard Finchley, here am I desperate to make those attachments and you pushing back from them. We are both lost people I think but, at this moment I do not think I have ever felt closer to anyone.”

He looked down at her hand over his. His instinct was to pull his hand away, but he forced it to remain where it was. The warmth of her touch, it was a feeling he hadn't felt in such a long time and he closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation. Opening them again, he looked at Niali and said "This isn't a throw away comment Niali, and I'm not meaning to be an idiot or sound cocky, or uppity, but be careful what you wish for, sometimes things have a way of coming back to bite you."

“Then maybe we are meant to get bitten?” She said softly, “ships that pass in the night taking solace from one another.” She leaned forward and gently kissed him, the first time she had ever kissed someone. It felt warm, comforting and yet there was something else, desire.

Her soft lips touched his, and he leaned into her, kissing her back. Their mouths opened and their tongues touched, it was electrifying. The smell of her perfume intoxicated him, her kissing drove his passion on, but he pushed it down. His hands reached up and pushed back through her hair as he gently pulled her towards him.

Niali put her arms round his shoulders and pulled herself to him dinner forgotten. It felt like she had cracked the harsh shell and found the softness inside. The feeling she felt at that moment she had never had before. “Be my first” she whispered in his ear. She felt his body, hard pressed to hers and wanted him.

Finchley pulled back from the embrace, a slightly lost look on his face. "Niali, it's not that I don't want to, believe me, I do, but I don't want to give into lust. I've done that before and it leaves me empty. If we're going to, I want it to be special, when we both know we're ready. We barely know each other, and I want to get to know you and I want you to get to know me. Once we're there, let's decide then, for the moment, I respect you to much to give into 'wanton desire'. I hope you can understand that?"

She traced her hand over his cheek and across his lips and nodded. “If that is what you wish Finchley then I will acquiesce. I have never felt anything like I did just then, I can wait, but, thank you for making me feel…..” her voice trailed off and she sat down in her chair. She took a bite of her beef Wellington and smiled…”mm this tastes wonderful, you made it yourself?” Her feeling of desire slowly faded leaving her just a little sad.

He could see and also sense her disappointment, and it made him feel a little hollow. However, he meant what he'd said. Yes, he could have taken advantage of the situation, satisfied both of their wants and desires, but then what, where would they have gone from there?

Looking to lift her spirits again, he replied "Thank you, and yes, I cooked it myself, though with a little help from a cook book would you believe. Not one from the archives, it's one I found on a buying trip back on Earth a few years back. Can you believe, in some places they still have 'flea markets'. They're places where you go to buy real old world things, from bygone era's...almost treasures if you want. Do you ever cook yourself?

She put her hands up, “when I was in medical school I shared a duplex with two other girls. I made toast…and the building burnt down.” She laughed, the other unit was unoccupied but I never tried again. I would love to learn if I could make something as good as this. I sometimes have a vision of children, a loving husband a farmhouse with land and horses and me, the mom and wife in the middle. The lynchpin …..the cooking lynchpin.”
She finished her glass, “this merlot is beautiful, full bodied with dark berries and maybe a hint of coffee. I would love some more if I may?” She held out her glass.

"Of course" Finchley replied, getting up and refilling her glass. He moved out to the middle of the room and continued "before we carry on enjoying the wine, would you care to dance Niali?"

“I would love to dance, what do you have in mind?” She stood, walked over to him and took his hand.

Finchley took Niali's hand, and then placed his other lightly around her waist.

"Computer, play Johann Strauss, Blue Danube" Finchley said, then turning to Niali, bowed and replied to her "A Waltz M'Lady."

“Thank you kind sir” she said as the began to dance the air moving around them.

Finchley led them round the room through the waltz, they both moved smoothly and flawlessly and as they finished, he bowed and said "Thank you Niali, that was wonderful."

As he led her back to the table, his hand slipped lightly onto her right buttock cheek. It felt toned and smooth as they walked back, and his desire for her once again rose from within.

“I have not danced for an age, thank you” She said. She felt his hand linger on her and could feel the heat through the silk of her suit. She swallowed. These feelings he engendered in her were hard to put away. She imagined them together, naked tangled in the sheets, warm skin on skin fitting together as a man and woman should be. She sat and had some more merlot and had begun to feel mellow. “Do you mind if I ask about the women you have known, or is it something you do not want to talk about?”

"I don't mind" Finchley answered honestly "what would you like to know?" he asked

She sipped her Merlot thoughtfully before she said, “what attracted you about them?”

"With some it was pure lust" he replied "with others it was infatuation, and with some it was..." and he thought very carefully about how to put what he wanted to say "...what they offered."

“May I take my shoes off and sit on your couch, I think it would be more comfortable if you don’t mind?”

"Of course" he replied "feel free."

She took her shoes off and sat cross legged on his couch. “May I ask what you mean by ‘what they offered’?”

He was scared she'd ask that question, but Pandora was out of her box now after what he'd said.

"I like...both visual and physical stimulation Niali" he began "love making, for me, is all about the visual look as well as the physical act itself. A for instance, the fact you wore high heels when coming here as part of your outfit does, I admit, give me visual pleasure and is desirable to me."

“So you are saying women have to dress in a certain way if they want you to make love to them? But that has nothing to do with being ‘in love’ does it?”

"No, that's not what I'm saying at all" Finchley replied, rather annoyed at the insinuation Niali made "what I'm saying is that for me, visual stimulus is part of what 'I personally like', but I'd never ever force anyone to wear something if they didn't want to!"

He knew it was a mistake opening up as he had, the wine had made him more relaxed than he realised and now he found it rather embarrassing for himself he'd said anything. He felt vulnerable and that never sat well with him.

"I think it's time we called an end to the evening Lieutenant, it's late and I have a lot of work to do tomorrow" Finchley said standing up "thank you for agreeing to come here this evening. I'm happy you enjoyed the meal and the wine and I hope this has gone some small way to making amends for what happened at the meeting earlier today" he added, gesturing towards the door.

“No” Niali said, “I am not leaving. Just because I did not understand what you meant does not mean I don’t want to. The fact that you called me Lieutenant shows me you now want to push me away and I am not going to let you Finchley. I want to get to know you, the real you and maybe become a part of your life.”

"I'm not ready for that obviously" Finchley replied "I made a mistake saying what I did, so now I'd like you to leave please, don't make this harder than it's already become for me."

She put her heels back on and sighed. “And seemingly I made a mistake when I told you I was a virgin and asked you to be my first. How about how hard that was for me.” She shook her head, “I thought this might be a beginning for us. I am sorry for saying something wrong, goodnight.” The door opened and closed behind her and for a moment she leant on it, tears streaming down her face before she turned and walked off down the corridor.

Inside his quarters, Finchley stood staring into space. The evening had been going so well, then he'd allowed his cynicism to take over. He damned himself to hell and back, Niali had only been curious, but that curiosity had hit a nerve.

Was there hope for them still, he didn't know. He would like to think there was, but he wasn't going to push Niali, he would leave it to her if she wanted to speak with him again.


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